Endings Ch. 04byingarlm©
Thanks for reading and your comments and mails. I'm still writing this, but there is definitely one more chapter to come, perhaps two. They'll be up as quick as I can!
* * * * * *
I got about two hours of peace before my doorbell rang, and my heart was pounding when I heard it. I prayed it wasn't him, but I knew I wasn't going to be that lucky. His voice came through the door, and I let him in, having already decided it was best to get this over with. That didn't mean I wasn't scared of talking to him, but I had to.
"Hey baby," he started with one of his devastating smiles.
He thought I'd just gone because he fell asleep, and wasn't expecting my realisation about him to have come so soon. That was going to make things more difficult. He only discovered something was wrong when I ducked away from his attempt to kiss me, and I saw the confusion form on his face.
"What's wrong Max?"
"I've been thinking, and I don't think this is a good idea."
He looked stunned more than anything else, but then he had been sleeping while I was working all this out. I had the time to come to terms with it.
"Because of Cam?" he asked.
"No. Well, not really. You don't remind me of him...it didn't...I mean when we were kissing or anything," I replied, blushing at the thought of the 'anything'.
"That's good though. What did I do wrong?"
"Nothing. It's not about you, it's about what I need and I don't think you can give me. I got carried away earlier, and I should have stopped to think first. This isn't what I want right now."
"Did you think to ask me what I could give you? Or were you in too much of a hurry to run away from me the second I was asleep?"
He sounded a little annoyed, and I guess I couldn't blame him, but he wasn't saying the right things now, when he faced some kind of challenge.
"I didn't run. You don't need this either Paul, I can't give you anything."
"Funny, I could have sworn you were giving me great head earlier, after I turned you into jelly."
Exactly, I thought. He wanted me for sex, and even though I could give him that I wouldn't respect myself afterwards. I already didn't.
"It was good Paul, and you did turn me to jelly, but it was too much too fast."
"I didn't think you knew what too fast was."
That hurt, probably because it was true, but it was also cruel and he realised it as soon as the words spilled from his mouth.
"Sorry Max. I don't mean that. Maybe all that happened so fast because we are good together, not because this is wrong. Maybe you should think less and just let us get to know one another."
"Don't apologise, you're right. I do get into things too fast, and last time it ended badly, at least for me. I don't want to do that again. I need to think about things, not just follow any guy who makes my dick hard."
He looked at me sadly, and I realised I had just pretty much confessed how I had felt when Cam and I finished. That wasn't good, but he already had some idea if what he said earlier meant anything. Then I realised I was now the one being unnecessarily cruel.
"I know we just met, but I really hoped I was more than just some guy who got you hard, and if I'm not I want to be. I wasn't just trying to get you into bed Max. I'm not complaining, but you offered, I didn't ask. Please don't throw this away without at least giving us a chance."
"What happened to not worrying about the odd knockback and moving on to the next target?" I had to ask.
"Mostly bravado. I didn't want you to think I was desperate, because I'm not. I don't generally leap into bed with guys I just met, and I don't pursue anyone I don't want for a lot more than a quick fuck. You might not believe me, but I really do want everything I said earlier. I thought I would come out today and meet a cute man, I didn't know how well we would get on, how easy it would be to talk to you and share a laugh. Remember that, it isn't just that we turned each other on so much we couldn't resist what happened."
That was true, and I had almost forgotten how much I liked him even before I knew he was gay or wanted anything from me, because since then I'd got carried away with what else he was doing to me. He was so cute, I did really like him and we got on well. If on top of that he made me hotter than hell that could only be a good thing.
"I know you're scared," he continued, "it's not easy to get out of a relationship that meant a lot to you and not worry that this will end up the same, but I'm not him despite appearances. I'm not hiding who I am and I do want to settle down, and it will be with a man. You won't ever have to pretend that you're not dating, and I'd be proud to have you be my boyfriend, if you'll let me."
Crap. He was saying all the right things again, and looking at me in such a way I wanted to kiss him. He hardly knew me, and yet somehow he did know what I was worrying about. He wasn't Cam and I did know that, but that whole relationship was still affecting me. Perhaps it was even stopping me from getting involved with someone who could be perfect.
"I am scared," I admitted. "But maybe if we can take this slow I can get over that. I'll understand if you don't want to."
He smiled at me, and it made me warm inside. It looked like he wouldn't want the get out I had just given him.
"We can take this as slow as you want. I would like to get to know you better, I'm sure it will be worth it. What happened today, that was amazing, and I hope it will happen again some day and be even better, but I'm happy for us to stay outside the bedroom while we work this out."
"How do you know the right things to say to me?"
"I don't know that they are, it's not like you've believed me so far."
"No, they are," I replied, slightly embarrassed to admit it.
"So how about we sit and watch a movie with a couple of beers and some pizza, and have a chilled out evening, no more thinking, and no more 'too fast'?"
"Sounds good," I replied, smiling.
* * * * * *
I woke up on my sofa, covered in a blanket and wondering what happened. I recalled us laughing at the dumb movie, necking a couple of beers each and finishing a huge pizza. I remembered snuggling up to him during a second film, enjoying his warmth and the feel of his arms wrapped around me and finding it comforting not just arousing, although I'd be kidding myself to claim I wasn't at all aroused. His closeness and his scent did things to me, but I kept them under control.
After that, there was nothing, and I must have fallen asleep. I was alone and it was about 1am, time to move to my bed. I got to my feet, seeing the empty pizza box and beer bottles on the table, and a note on the back of an envelope, telling me I'd fallen asleep and Paul had gone home. It was signed with an x, and that little touch made me all warm and fuzzy inside again. Damn it, I was falling for him already, and that was dangerous ground, I just knew it.
I was still too tired to work things out right then, and I fell into my bed with a contented sigh. This was so much more comfortable than the sofa. It was a shame I immediately thought how much more comfortable it would be with Paul in it with me, curled up together. That man was trouble and I needed to get my thoughts about him straight, but that would have to wait. I cuddled up to my pillow, kidding myself that I wasn't pretending it was his warm chest, and fell back to sleep.
* * * * * *
Sunday passed in a bit of a blur, I was tired to start with but when Paul turned up on my doorstep and suggested we go out for the day I made the effort and I loved every moment. It was lovely to spend time with him when there was no pressure for anything and I could take some time to get to know him. I had no idea if I could handle a relationship even though it annoyed me that I was not over what happened with Cam.
I was nervous of starting anything, and the fact that Paul seemed to understand that and kept from pushing me in any way made that both better and worse. I felt bad for not being able to let him in just yet, but then I reminded myself that no matter what had happened yesterday, that had only been the first time we met. If I wasn't ready to commit to things with him in less than two days it was hardly something to worry about.
He was just perfect, not only in how he looked, but how he was with me. He touched me a few times while we were out, just taking my hand for a few moments, or brushes across my shoulder, and they made me shiver but also reminded me that I wasn't going to have to hide if I got involved with him. This was dating openly already, and if I couldn't yet go to bed with him I was going to enjoy the rest of it and get to a point where my mind stopped worrying about everything else.
I knew I was holding back, and he knew it too but he didn't press. Even when we got back home he left me with only a quick kiss, a definite reminder of our passionate ones the day but a dim shadow of them. It surprised me that although I had the desire to drag him into my flat and get more I couldn't seem to do it.
It was almost a relief to go to work the next day, and get him and what I was going to do about this situation off my mind for a little while. It hadn't escaped my notice that all my lingering thoughts of Cam had been replaced with more immediate and needy ones relating to Paul. Nor had the irony that despite that, what had happened with Cam was the cause of my new problems.
Even when I saw him later that night we spent very little time together, just a chat over a beer as he had to go get ready for work the next day. I teased him a little about it when I saw he was nervous, but he just laughed with me. It was bound to be difficult to meet a load of new people and settle into a new place, but I was sure he would fit in in no time, he was too cute and friendly to be ignored.
With all that was going on in my head about him I didn't really ask about his job, beyond finding out that it was in marketing. I kept my mouth shut about what a waste of time that was and how firms like mine had a huge marketing budget that seemed to mean we could never get any money to do the actual work. It was what I thought, but I was attempting to build at least a friendship with him and I didn't think he'd appreciate me sharing.
The next day I developed a new appreciation for marketing, or at the very least for the gorgeous man in a suit my company had just hired to do it. After a moment of mutual surprise as he was introduced to my team, obviously after so many introductions around the building that his head was spinning, I recovered fast and grinned at him. His manager spouted some of the usual line about what we did while he returned my smile.
"Hi Paul," I got in before the boss could get into names, if he even knew ours.
"Hey Max. I'll catch you at lunch, okay?"
I nodded as his boss whisked him away, amused at the coincidence and very much appreciating the way he looked in a suit. It was almost better than seeing what was underneath it, but only almost.
I turned back to my desk when he was out of view, trying to clear my mind a little. It was only the sight of my co-worker Sam still staring after him that got me back to reality, because I had to laugh at the look on her face.
"You might want to put your eyes back in your head Sam."
"You might want to take your own advice Max," she muttered back. "Plus I am not going to be the only one drooling over him, all the single girls in the office are already lining up to say hello to the new boy."
I laughed, trying to keep it quiet. I wasn't jealous of that kind of competition.
"Shame. They are going to be really disappointed."
I heard her sigh. "You just had to ruin my moment. Why are all the cute guys gay?"
"They aren't, trust me, but that one certainly is."
I could almost see the wheels turning in her head as a cheeky smile developed.
"So, Max, anything you want to share?"
Perhaps if I hadn't blushed like a schoolgirl right then she might have believed me.
* * * * * *
I had to wonder if this was fate, either setting me up or screwing with me, but it had arranged that Paul was around me all the time and I would have met him even if I'd never met Cam. I could hardly argue with his suggestion that we share travel to work, nor with spending every lunch hour with him, although usually Sam and some others were with us as well.
Thing was, I really didn't mind. The more he became involved in my life the more I enjoyed having him there. It made me realise how shallow my life had become, waiting for a quickie with a man who I always knew was going to leave me, or dwelling on that time in my life without trying to sort myself out. I saw my friends and family a lot more now, and almost always with Paul there. Alison was happy because I obviously was too.
He was with me most of the time, except when I went to bed. That was the only place I hadn't managed to let him as yet, but he still wasn't pushing that aspect of our relationship. Everything I hadn't had with Cam, I now had -- the hand holding, cuddling, dating and not hiding it, all the little things that I wanted.
As the first month of this passed, I started to seriously wonder what Paul was doing with me. Not that I doubted his motives, but that he would date someone who was finding it difficult to take things to the next level. I felt guilty for not making the move but somehow I didn't quite feel ready. I wondered whether that would happen before he got fed up with me, but he didn't mention anything. I felt like I was waiting for something to go wrong because it seemed so right.
The only thing that seemed to annoy him was when I mentioned Cam. Not that I ever spoke about our sex life or anything approaching that, but even the sound of his name coming from me seemed to irritate him. We even saw Cam out at house parties and down the pub, but only once or twice, and on those occasions Paul kept his distance, and aware that it was an issue, so did I.
Over dinner one night, our usual routine being to eat together at one flat or the other, I finally broached the subject, wanting to know what he was thinking. It wasn't quite fair of me, because I was the one with the most problems, but he was pretty much blanking his own family. When I asked, it took him a long time to answer.
"I just wish I had met you first," he finally replied.
"Without my hangups you mean?"
"No. Not like that, I just...I know he's family, but he's a dumb fuck for not seeing how amazing you are. I hate that he hurt you."
That was a strange idea, and one I didn't agree with. I had hurt myself by getting involved with Cam and taking what little he could offer. He had never pretended I was anything more to him, and I was the idiot who went and fell for him anyway.
"He didn't know. It was just sex to him."
Paul looked at me, clearly unimpressed.
"You keep making excuses for him, but he should have treated you better. It wasn't 'just sex' or he wouldn't have kept it going so long, and he must have known what that was doing to you, or going to do when he found someone else. I think he was relieved when he knew I was interested in you because it helped him feel less guilty about it all."
"Paul, he doesn't have anything to feel guilty for. I knew what was going to happen, and I chose to get involved with him."
"Seriously Max, stop with the excuses. He doesn't deserve it."
He looked like he was getting angry, and I kind of understood why. We should be having some great relationship by now, and instead he was stuck with me and my issues. It wasn't fair on him, but I couldn't entirely get past what had happened. As much as I had walked into my time with Cam with my eyes open, he probably didn't deserve me defending him.
Cam wanted sex, I was offering it on a platter, perfectly willing to spread my legs for him. I felt cheap and used that first time and I still let him use me again and again, even when it became me opening his legs and doing the fucking. I knew he never thought of it as more than sex, and I didn't need to excuse what had happened, I just needed to get over it.
What the hell was wrong with me? Paul had never once made me feel bad about myself, he spent all our time together telling me how wonderful I was and how much he wanted me, not for a fuck, but as a boyfriend. He was dating me even though after that first wonderful afternoon we had done nothing more than hug and kiss. He was everything Cam could never have been and I was keeping him at bay because in some screwed up way I expected the same treatment from him even now I knew it wasn't coming.
Paul was someone I could plan a future with, fall asleep curled up with, make love not just fuck. He didn't pretend we were nothing to each other, he held my hand in public and spent time with my friends and my sister. He made me happy in ways I never thought I would be again, and I could tell him even the things that had screwed me up and he didn't think it was my fault at all. In fact, I knew right then I could tell him anything, and I knew what he meant to me.
"I love you Paul."
I shocked him into silence, and I wasn't much better, that had surprised me too. It wasn't the first time I had thought those words, but I hadn't planned on saying it out loud. Too late to do anything about it now, but the smile on his face suggested he didn't mind, it was just unexpected.
"Me too," he told me, grinning.
There was something other than keeping this conversation going on my mind, my internal discussion and my confession making me realise there was no point holding back from something I really wanted. The way I felt about Paul was so different to anything else before now, even the love I had for Cam, and I needed to show it too. I almost pounced towards him, closing the gap and pulling him into my arms.
"I want to show you how much. Take me to bed, please," I whispered to him.
There was a soft groan from him and his arms tightened around me.
"Are you sure about this? I really don't mind waiting."
My words were so determined he obviously didn't doubt me and I was swept up in his embrace and almost carried to his room.
It seemed to me that it was only fair if I made all the waiting up to him in the best possible way, but I didn't get a chance to start that, he was on me immediately, letting his hands wander to places he hadn't touched since our one time together, and kissing me with an intensity I had almost forgotten. He really had been holding back, and now he had a green light he clearly had no intention of stopping.
Almost immediately I was in the state he had got me the first day, lost in the passion and desperate for more. I didn't let my hands stay idle either, I was tearing at his clothes just as he was at mine, trying to get skin on skin as fast as possible, struggling to achieve it when we were so closely pressed together and didn't want to separate.
Somehow between our frantic fumblings we managed to get naked and I moaned loud at the feel of his body finally against mine, all hard muscle and definitely hard cock. His hands roamed my back and squeezed my arse as he plundered my mouth, barely letting me take a breath, not that I was sure I would be able to anyway with the fire that seemed to be burning inside me.
I had imagined this moment, so many times stroking myself at night to the memory and my fantasies of how it would happen again, but they paled beside the reality. I needed him so badly I was trembling with pent up desire, and I could feel every touch he gave me as little bolts of electricity into my skin. I was so unaware of my surroundings that I was lifted and pretty much thrown onto his bed before I realised I was moving.
"This time, you don't get out of my bed until morning. Promise you won't run again."